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Child abuse: We ‘ll follow Yerima’s case to the end, says Bankole

By Tordue Salem
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole Wednesday assured a gathering of Nigerian children that the House would follow through to the end about eight petitions filed before its Committee on Public Petitions against Senator Yerima Ahmed Sani for marrying a 13-year-old girl in breach of the Child Rights Act of 2003.

Bankole’s verdict comes on the heels of an earlier arrest, but release of Sen. Ahmed on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 by the National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters, NAPTIP over alleged marriage to a minor in alleged breach of the NAPTIP and Child Rights Acts.

The Speaker spoke at an interactive session with the Nigerian Children’s Parliament Wednesday.

“The House of Representatives has received about 8 petitions so far against Senator (Ahmed Sani) and I can assure you that we would make sure justice is what many may consider not right under the Child Rights Act”, he said.

Mr. Bankole who was responding to an earlier speech by the Parliament’s Senate President, Ms. Esther Afolayan, assured that the House in particular and the National Assembly in general, would do its best to avoid a repeat of marriages to minors.

He told the children that the “best the House of Representatives can do, is to pass resolutions for the development and well-being of children, but it is the Executive that executes. We don’t have a say on this side. The person who should be implementing the budgets we pass directly is the Minister, his Permanent Secretary and Directors at the Ministry, not the House.”

The Speaker also assured the children group that the House of Representatives under his leadership would do “its best” and continue to “pass resolutions” on the liberation and improvement in the condition of children in Nigeria.


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